Saturday, September 16, 2017

Jason Foscolo joins LL.M. Speaker Series "Careers in Agricultural & Food Law"

Jason Foscolo joins LL.M. Speaker Series "Careers in Agricultural & Food Law

Join us on Wednesday, September 20th at 11:00 a.m. CST as Alumnus Jason Foscolo discusses his work as the founder and principle attorney at The Food Law Firm.

The Food Law Firm is a New York-based law firm serving farming and food entrepreneurs across the nation.

As Jason explains on his website -
I launched this firm in 2011 with the single goal of delivering general practice, commercial law services to food businesses. 
It is easy for me to point out to my clients the special regulations that apply to their food businesses. I go one step further than that. Over the years I’ve been in practice, I’ve developed an acute awareness for how the constellation of food laws and regulations can affect the ordinary commercial transactions that fill the business day. I add value for my clients by mitigating risks, both regulatory and commercial, and this is what makes me distinctive.
I admire my clients. From farmers to manufacturers, they are sharp and courageous. From shippers to importers, they are innovative and disruptive. It is a privilege to help them make their businesses better. 
I am a former Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps (separated in 2010 at the rank of Captain) and I’m currently serving as a Major in the New York Air National Guard. I’ve got three kiddos and an indefatigable wife, and you can usually find us eating things across our home range, the Hudson Valley of New York.
Food Law Firm clients include specialty pork producer Mosefund Mangalitsa, the gastro-job resource Good Food Jobs, trade associations like the American Mangalitsa Breeders Association and the American Cheese Society, and the highly-respected non-profit foundation, The Farmer-Veteran Coalition.

Jason writes the Food Law Blog with many followers and tweets at @FoodLawAttorney. He is an outspoken supporter of our Program and often mentions us favorably in the press, as evidenced in an excerpt from an interview with Gastronomes.
I had the extraordinary opportunity to pursue an advanced degree in Agriculture and Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law . . . the  program gave me a comprehensive understanding of the network of special laws that regulate almost every transaction in our food system.
Jason will join us by video-conference from his offices in New York. Join us in room 254 or catch the live stream by contacting us at

Friday, September 15, 2017

Paying it Forward - LL.M. Alumni Give Back


We are 63% towards our goal with 14 days left!

Thanks again for your support of the LL.M. Alumni-Sponsored Graduate Assistantship!

Want to see how you’re making a difference? Check out this video testimonial from LL.M. alumna
KC Tucker as she discusses how her time in the program changed the trajectory of her professional life. Assistantships provide critical financial support while enhancing a candidate’s professional portfolio and advancing the good work being done in Agricultural & Food Law today.

We’re making great progress, but aren’t there yet. Please help spread the word about this important project to your colleagues and classmates. Send a quick email. Share this video on social media. Be sure to provide our project link ( and share how the LL.M. program has made a difference in your life, too! Remember, gifts of all sizes join together to help us reach our goal, and contributions can made anonymously.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

How Our National Pastime United Students and Alums

For five years, Jose Ernesto Colon Villafañe, dreamed of attending the LL.M. program. This year, his dream became a reality. Through persistence and a series of fortunate events, including receipt of the Benjamin Franklin Lever Fellowship, he traveled to Fayetteville from San Juan, Puerto Rico—notebook in hand, and ready to learn.

Jose Ernesto enjoys being part of the LL.M. program and also enjoys his internship with The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas, LLP. The Law Group includes three LLM program alums: K.C. Dupps Tucker, Katie Willoughby and Kristy Boehler. Experiencing the practical application of agricultural law is one perk of working with the firm. Another is baseball tickets.

Courtesy of The Law Group, Jose Ernesto treated LL.M. colleagues Andrei Trapizonian and Susan Burns to a Northwest Naturals game at the Arvest Stadium.  Attending a baseball game was a first for Andrei, a native of Kyiv, Ukraine. For Susan, from Minneapolis (home of the Minnesota Twins), it was an opportunity to explain the rules of the game—a rare opportunity given that her understanding doesn’t extend much past the basics.

They all enjoyed the great view close to home plate, and they decided that a commonality between agriculture and baseball is the pace of crop growth and the pace of the game. The Naturals lost, but it was a welcomed opportunity to enjoy a beautiful evening far away from studies …

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Introducing Susan Burns, Graduate Assistant to the LL.M. Program

Susan Burns appointed LL.M. Program Graduate Assistant

Susan Burns, LL.M. Graduate Assistant

We are pleased to announce that on-campus LL.M. Candidate Susan Burns will be serving as the 2017-2018 LL.M. Program Graduate Assistant.  Susan hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota and is the founder and President of Susan Burns LLC. Her work focuses on representing small businesses from start-up through global development. She is also the founder and CEO of Small Business Legal School Ltd.  She is a leader within the ABA International Law Section, co-chairing the Mexico Committee. Her food and agricultural interests include providing support to organic agriculture.

Susan received her J.D. from Hamline School of Law where she served as Associate Editor of the Hamline Law Review. She received her B.A., from the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota, majoring in German.

In her role as Graduate Assistant, Susan will be working directly with Program Director Susan Schneider on marketing, alumni relations, and recruiting as well as providing advanced legal analysis on agricultural and food law topics.  She will be blogging here, keeping everyone up to date on Program and alumni activities. Watch for her first post tomorrow.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Professor Ewelukwa Publishes Chapter in New International Food Law Book

Professor Uche Ewelukwa Ofodile's chapter, Food Law and Policy in Africa: Emerging Legal Framework, Key Issues, Major Gaps and Challenges was published in a text book, International Food Law and Policy, eds. Gabriela Steier, Gabriela, Kiran Patel, Kiran.

This unique textbook considers food law & policy issues throughout the world, providing an interdisciplinary focus and bringing together experts from many countries.

We are fortunate to have Professor Ewelukwa, an internationally recognized professor and scholar, teaching in our LL.M. Program. She teaches two courses in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law that she created, Right to Food and Business, Human Rights & Corporate Social Responsibility.

Professor Ewelukwa is an active member of the American Bar Association Section on International Law (ABA-SIL) and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Committee on Investment & Development, the Vice-Chair of the International Intellectual Property Rights Committee, as well as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility of the association.

Professor Ewelukwa is also an active member of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Interest Group and the Co-Chair of the Africa Interest Group of ASIL. Professor Ewelukwa is the Secretary General of the African Society of International Law.

Professor Ewelukwa's scholarship focuses particularly on international investment law and arbitration, business and human rights, China-Africa trade and investment relations, as well as the intersection of intellectual property law and human rights. Professor Ewelukwa’s articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Michigan Journal of International Law, Minnesota Journal of International Law, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, University of Miami Law Review, Transnational Dispute Management, among others.

Professor Ewelukwa is on the Advisory Board of the African Journal of Legal Studies, is on the Editorial Board of Law Digest, Africa’s Premier Law Journal, and is part of the Editorial Team of the Africa International Legal Awareness Blog. For four years (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014) she has served as the Editor of The Year In Review for the International Investment & Development Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law. She has also served as the Editor of The Year In Review for the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility of the American Bar Association Section of International Law.

Professor Ewelukwa has received numerous awards and fellowships in recognition of her work. Past awards include: Outstanding 2014 Year-in-Review (YIR) Award from the American Bar Association Section of International Law (for the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee’s Year in Review that she edited and co-authored), the 2009 Human Rights Essay Award from the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and a fellowship award from the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.

Professor Ewelukwa holds the following academic degrees:   LL.B. (Nigeria); LL.M. (London); LL.M. (Harvard); S.J.D. (Harvard).

Kelly Damewood to join Careers in Agricultural & Food Law Speaker Series

Kelly Damewood, Director of Policy & Government Affairs, California Certified Organic Farmers
On Wednesday, September 13th, LL.M. alumna Kelly Damewood will join our LL.M. Speaker Series "Careers in Agricultural & Food Law" to discuss her path from LL.M. Candidate to Director of Policy & Government Affairs at California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

Kelly attended the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law during the 2013-14 academic year. During her Candidacy she served as the 2013-14 Marler Clark Graduate Assistant, writing and publishing news articles on food safety issues for the online publication Food Safety News with worldwide distribution.

Kelly received her J.D. from Vermont Law School, magna cum laude. During law school she served as a Staff Editor to the Vermont Law Review.  She earned her General Practice Program Certificate which is awarded after completing a program of classes that teach substantive law through simulations and mock transactions.

Kelly earned her B.A. from the University of Portland (English, Philosophy minor). Before attending law school she founded and operated a certified organic farm in Oregon. She is licensed to practice law in Oregon.

Following the LL.M. Program, Kelly joined CCOF as its Policy Director.  In this role, she leads CCOF’s policy staff and organizes member engagement on issues related to the National Organic Program (NOP), National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the Farm Bill, and other aspects of agricultural policy. During her presentation, Kelly will talk about organic regulation and challenges to maintaining integrity within the organic system, as well as discussing her work at CCOF.

Email us at for streaming options and check back for news on future speakers. Our speaker series takes place weekly on Wednesday's from 11-11:50 am CST.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Disasters, Resilience, and the Importance of the Law

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our friends and alumni who have experienced, and who are now experiencing, the tremendous challenges of the hurricanes and the fires. The Texas cattle ranchers dealing with flooded pastures and lost livestock and the thousands of acres of ranch land and forests burning in the west are examples of the devastation. While the American spirit is resilient, no industry is more vulnerable to natural disaster than agriculture. And, agriculture is the core of our food system.

In the face of these challenges, I am heartened that we have dedicated agricultural and food law alumni throughout the U.S. and the world that are helping to keep our food system stable and strong, sometimes one client at a time. For example, our alumnus, Ben Thomas is Director of Agriculture in Montana. I know that he will do everything humanly possible to assist farmers dealing with fire damage in his state. Alumna Anne Hazlett was recently appointed Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development. Anne will advocate fiercely for rural America, particularly when challenges are presented. Our alumni in private practice will represent their clients with disaster assistance, insurance claims, debt restructuring, supply chain disruption, food safety concerns and a host of other legal issues that arise from natural disasters. 

These are challenging times, and we are all moved by the tremendous needs that so many experience. Donate to the relief funds, volunteer if you are able, and be grateful for your good fortune if you are not affected. But, in the end, also remember that the work we do in agricultural and food law is the framework that underlies our entire food system. Please donate even a small sum to our campaign and give us a signal that you agree - the work we do is really important.

A very sincere "thank you" to those of you that have donated.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Campaign Update: $3525 needed to reach our goal!

LL.M. Alumni-Sponsored Graduate Assistant Campaign

We're getting there! Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, we have already raised nearly $2,500 toward our goal of $6,000! How does your support make a difference? Check out this video featuring 2017 LL.M. candidate Kelly Nuckolls as she describes her experience serving as a graduate assistant. Kelly's assistantship under the supervision of Dean Stacy Leeds focused on building a toolkit for native American farmers and ranchers, as well as the attorneys who assist them. This is just one example of projects undertaken by our GA's. Help us continue this important work by sharing on social media and encouraging your friends, family and fellow graduates to make a gift to the LL.M. Alumni-Sponsored Graduate Assistantship Campaign!

In addition to supporting our project financially, please help us even further by sharing our project with your family and friends via email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Please share this project link:

Like and follow on Facebook and Twitter for announcements and updates!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Chancellor Issues Statement in Support of DACA Students

Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz of the University of Arkansas released the following statement Friday, Sept. 1, regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was created in 2012 to support college-going students:

"In light of current conversations, the University of Arkansas believes strongly that the state of Arkansas and the greater national and global societies are strengthened by educated men and women. This is consistent with something I supported publicly when in December I signed on with more than 600 college and university presidents who favor supporting DACA students. That includes students who were brought to this country as children — through no fault of their own — and who have grown up in our state, attended our public schools and befriended our children, and have made contributions to our campuses, our economy and to our communities. Their attendance doesn't take anything away from any other student — in fact, their presence enriches our community. We urge the continuation of federal and state laws and policies that support their ability to pursue higher education."

— UA Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz

We need your help! Join our LL.M. Alumni-Sponsored GA Campaign

LL.M. Alumni-Sponsored GA Campaign off to a great start!

Our Alumni-Sponsored GA Campaign has officially begun, and we're off to a big start thanks to donations from a number of Alumni & Friends of the LL.M. Program. We thank you for your generous support!

We still have a long way to go over the next 28 days. We are 30% toward our goal of $6,000, and we need your help! Please consider a gift to support the next generation of LL.M. Candidates.
Wondering how your dollars can help? Check out some of the bio's from this year's candidates serving as Graduate Assistants. Your dollars will help us bring standout Candidates, like those featured below, to Fayetteville.

If you've already donated, consider challenging others from your class to do the same.

In addition to supporting our project financially, please help us even further by sharing our project with your family and friends via email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Please share this project link:

Like and follow on Facebook and Twitter for announcements and updates!

This year, we are able to offer 5 Graduate Assistantships to outstanding candidates who applied to join us in Fayetteville. Each Candidate will contribute their time and skills to a project designed to enhance the important work being done in agricultural & food law. Help us continue the tradition by contributing to the Alumni Sponsored Graduate Assistantship Campaign today!

Andrii Trapizonian (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Masters in International Economic Law, Kyiv National Economic University
LL.B., with honors, Economics & Law Institute, Cherkasy National University
Sub-Lieutenant, Department of Military Training

Daria Kotova (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Recipient of the Russia-US Legal Education Foundation (RUSLEF) Fellowship
LL.B., National Research University Higher School of Economics, Faculty of Law
Member of Jessup Moot Court team, winning 1st place at the national rounds, top-20 in international rounds

Erika Dunyak (Cleveland, OH)
J.D., Case Western Reserve University
B.A., German and International Studies, with concentration in Global Environmental Sustainability, University of Dayton
Legal Extern with Sustainable Economies Law Center; Legal Intern and Research Assistant, Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic; Sustainability Fellow with Office of Sustainability, Case Western Reserve University

Jamie Dickinson (Portland, OR)
Packaging & Labeling Specialist, Recreational Marijuana Program, Oregon Liquor Control Commission
J.D., University of Oregon School of Law
Staff Editor, Legallity Online Journal
Member, Law of Intellectual Property
B.S., Nutritional Sciences, University of Texas

Mary Susan Burns (Minneapolis, MN)
Attorney, Founder and President, Susan Burns LLC, Minneapolis, MN
Extensive experience in business law and business planning
J.D., Hamline School of Law
Hamline Law Review, Associate Editor
B.A. German, College of St. Benedict

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Join our Campaign!


Dear LL.M. Alumni & Friends,

As you know, the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law holds a special place within the University of Arkansas School of Law. Since its inception in 1980, the Program has strengthened the national and international reputation of the School of Law, and has shaped some of our most notable Alumni.

To help us continue the tradition of excellence, we are creating a new Alumni Sponsored Graduate Assistantship as a means to recruit the best and brightest to study with us in Fayetteville as part of our on-campus program.

Now more than ever, attorneys with specialized agricultural and food law expertise are needed. Our top recruits tell us that without the financial support included with Graduate Assistantships they would not be able to join the program.

Our program needs your support. This week, we have launched our LL.M. Alumni Sponsored Graduate Assistantship Fundrazor campaign. Please consider making a gift to our campaign by visiting our campaign page at Donations in any amount (anonymous or otherwise) are appreciated.

You can help by sharing our campaign on Facebook and Twitter, too! Simply visit our crowdfunding website and click the share buttons under the video.

Thank you in advance for your support. Please let us know if you have any questions about the campaign or our Assistantship Program!


The LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law
University of Arkansas School of Law

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New Careers in Agricultural & Food Law Series

The LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law is pleased to present it's new series of interviews with alumni, Careers in Agricultural & Food Law.  With over 300 alumni working across the country and the world, we have a ready-made list of experts, and we are anxious to talk to as many as we can.

This week, we begin with an alumna from California that stayed here in Northwest Arkansas after she graduated.  Lauren Manning will speak with Susan Schneider for a live class interview on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. CST.

Lauren is an adjunct professor and a partner in Ozark Pasture Beef. She will provide her comments on her LL.M. experience, provide advice for students in the Program and suggest tips for agricultural and food law career building.

University of Arkansas students can attend the event live in room 254 of the law school. The event will also be live streamed, and it will be recorded for later viewing.  To livestream, email to for the link.

Friday, August 25, 2017

LL.M. Alumna Teena Gunter

We are delighted to report that our alumna, Teena Gunter of Oklahoma City has been selected as the president-elect for the National Board of Directors for the University of Arkansas Alumni Association. Teena serves as the general counsel for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry and has been with the department for 20 years. She also serves as the director for the Agricultural Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program for the agency and is the director of the Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Program.  She received her J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law and her LL.M. in Agricultural Law from us as well.

Our thanks to Teena for the many ways that she gives back to the University of Arkansas.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What can you do with an LL.M. in Agricultural & Food Law?

U of A JD's and current LL.M. Candidates are encouraged to join us on Wednesday, August 30th as LL.M. Alumna Lauren Manning (2016) discusses her career as an Attorney, Journalist, Professor & Farmer.

Check back for future guests as part of our Alumni Speaker Series each Wednesday from 11-11:50 a.m. CST.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Welcome Class of 2018

LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law
2017-2018 Enrolled LL.M. Degree Candidates


 This fall, we welcome six new on-campus students, six new distance students, and nine returning distance students for a total of twenty-one LL.M. degree candidates taking classes with us this academic year.  In addition, we have a number of candidates who have completed their coursework and who will be actively working with us to finish their final article requirement for graduation in December. As was the case last year we anticipate the addition of some non-degree distance students enrolling in our Spring courses for transfer or CLE credit.

Our on-campus candidates come from Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Russia and Ukraine. Our distance students will be studying with us from their homes and offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Since we began the distance program in 2013, we have gradually increased the number of distance candidates enrolled each year (2, 6, 9, 12, 15), and we expect that trend to continue. Beginning Fall 2017, the University of Arkansas will allow our Program to enroll distance students at in-state tuition rates, an advantage afforded to all other distance programs on campus. This is expected to result in much greater demand for our courses going forward. We see quality distance education with the associated technologies as serving a growing role in education, and we are pleased to be at the forefront of that trend in law.

On-Campus LL.M. Candidates

Andrii Trapizonian (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Masters in International Economic Law, Kyiv National Economic University
LL.B., with honors, Economics & Law Institute, Cherkasy National University
Sub-Lieutenant, Department of Military Training

Daria Kotova (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Recipient of the Russia-US Legal Education Foundation (RUSLEF) Fellowship
LL.B., National Research University Higher School of Economics, Faculty of Law
Member of Jessup Moot Court team, winning 1st place at the national rounds, top-20 in international rounds

Erika Dunyak (Cleveland, OH)
J.D., Case Western Reserve University
B.A., German and International Studies, with concentration in Global Environmental Sustainability, University of Dayton
Legal Extern with Sustainable Economies Law Center; Legal Intern and Research Assistant, Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic; Sustainability Fellow with Office of Sustainability, Case Western Reserve University

Jamie Dickinson (Portland, OR)
Packaging & Labeling Specialist, Recreational Marijuana Program, Oregon Liquor Control Commission
J.D., University of Oregon School of Law
Staff Editor, Legallity Online Journal
Member, Law of Intellectual Property
B.S., Nutritional Sciences, University of Texas

Mary Susan Burns (Minneapolis, MN)
Attorney, Founder and President, Susan Burns LLC, Minneapolis, MN
Extensive experience in business law and business planning
J.D., Hamline School of Law
Hamline Law Review, Associate Editor
B.A. German, College of St. Benedict

Jose Ernesto Colon Villafene (San Juan, PR)
Recipient of the University of Arkansas Graduate School Benjamin Lever Fellowship
Law Clerk, The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas, LLP
Master of Business Administration, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Rio Piedras (Graduate Teaching Assistant)
J.D., Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico
B.S., Purdue University

New Distance LL.M. Candidates

Kimberly Bousquet (St. Louis, MO)
Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP
J.D., University of Oregon School of Law
Order of the Coif; Certificate in Environmental Law
M.S., Environmental Studies, University of Oregon
B.A., Biology, cum laude, Drury University

Colby Duren (Arlington, VA)
Policy Director and Staff Attorney, Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative
Former Staff Att’y for National Congress of American Indians
J.D., American University Washington College of Law
B.A. Vassar College

Garrett Blake Jackson (Norman, OK)
Staff Attorney, Chickasaw Nation
Former Legal Honors Attorney U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
J.D. University of Oklahoma College of Law
Certificate in Native American Law
American Indian Law Review
B.S., summa cum laude, Agribusiness/Pre-Law, University of Oklahoma
Certificate in Environmental Studies

Carla Stinnett (Sapulpa, OK)
Practicing Attorney & President, Stinnett Law
J.D., with highest honors, University of Oklahoma College of Law
Master of Liberal Arts, Oklahoma State University
B.S. (Agricultural Communications), Oklahoma State University

Amber Suitt (Atlanta, GA)
Project Attorney, Troutman Sanders eMerge Group
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center; Certificate, Refugees & Humanitarian Emergencies
B.A., History, Howard University

Michelle Johnson-Weider (Silver Spring, MD)
Program Analyst, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food & Nutrition Service, USDA
Former Assistant Counsel, U.S. Senate Office of Legislative Counsel (Natural Resources)
J.D., cum laude, Stetson University College of Law
B.A., Anthropology, High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Florida
Returning Distance Candidates

Brenda Hall-Busch (Philadelphia, PA)
Special Counsel, Kessler, Topaz, Meltzer & Chek, LLP
J.D, New York Law School
B.A., English, Barnard College, Columbia University

Kelsey Unruh Davis (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Judicial Clerk, Honorable Judge Charles R. Malone, Sixth Circuit, Alabama
J.D., University of Alabama School of Law
B.S. Agribusiness, summa cum laude, Mississippi State University

Katherine Zewas Graham (Minneapolis, MN)
Associate Attorney, Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, PA
Law Clerk for the Hon. Judge Larry Stauber,  Minnesota Court of Appeals
J.D., summa cum  laude, William Mitchell College of Law
Executive Editor, William Mitchell Law Review
B.A., American Studies, Magna cum laude, Carleton College

Alexia Kulwiec (Madison, WI)
Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin Extension, School for Workers
Extensive experience as a labor and employment law attorney
J.D., Chicago Kent College of Law
B.A., Economics, University of Notre Dame

Brian Mathison  (Fort Bliss, Texas)
Mathiason Law Firm (N.Y., Tex., N.M.)
Information Operations Officer, 1AD Combat Aviation Brigade
M.S., Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry, University of California, Davis
M.S., Finance, Indiana University Kelley School of Business
J.D., Indiana University School of Law
B.A., English Literature, Indiana University
B.S., Biochemistry, Indiana University

Brandy McAllister (Mabelvale, AR)
Risk Management Services Counsel, Association of Arkansas Counties
Attorney, Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund
J.D., magna cum laude, UALR William Bowen School of Law
B.A. Business Administration & Marketing, Mount Mercy College

Dave Nezzie (Albuquerque, NM)
Congressional Staffer, Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
J.D., The University of New Mexico
Indian Law Certificate
B.A., Anthropology and B.S. American Indian Studies, Arizona State University

Edward Peterson (Warner Robins, Georgia)
Private Practice, Warner Robins, Georgia
Significant prior experience with USDA (including service as Extension Agent, APHIS Quarantine Officer and Information Specialist)
J.D., Capitol University Law School
LL.M., Employment Law, John Marshall Law School
Masters of Plant Protection and Pest Management, University of Georgia
B.S., Biology, Georgia College

Saturday, August 12, 2017

LL.M. Program & the University of Arkansas Condemn Hatred, Violence & White Supremacy

In response to the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and its disturbing calls for white supremacy, it's important to stand up and celebrate the diversity reflected in our LL.M. Program.

Our proud alumni come from all across the United States and 18 foreign countries. They represent every race and almost all religions. We welcomed them all as our students, and we continue to support them as our alumni.

We are proud to quote our Chancellor, Joe Steinmetz who tweeted today "Diversity & inclusion are @Uarkansas values. We value free speech but condemn hatred, violence & white supremacy."

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Alumni News-Teena Gunter selected as participant in Class 31 of the Leadership Oklahoma Program

Leadership Oklahoma Class 31 Announced

On June 23, 2017, the Leadership Oklahoma Board of Directors officially acted to accept the members of Class 31; fifty-one of the state’s most outstanding leaders who will travel the state to learn about the critical issues facing Oklahoma and finding ways to initiate positive change for the benefit of all Oklahomans. Included amongst the selected participants is LL.M. Alumna Teena Gunter (LL.M. 1997). Ms. Gunter currently serves as General Counsel to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, in Oklahoma City.
Congratulations Teena!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Policy Delivers Tuition Savings to Distance Students

As we prepare for another rewarding year in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law, it is my distinct pleasure to deliver an announcement regarding a new tuition policy for our distance education track. Our Program has now become even more of a "best value" in legal education.

Tuition Savings For LL.M. Distance Students

The University of Arkansas has adjusted the LL.M. Program tuition rate for our distance candidates, effective Fall 2017. Our program will now be consistent with other units on campus in allowing distance candidates enrolled in online courses to be eligible for the Arkansas resident tuition rate regardless of where the student resides. For out of state students, this essentially cuts their tuition bill in half.

For 2017-18, the Arkansas resident rate for the LL.M. Program will be $595.50 per credit hour. This rate will apply to any distance course taken by a distance candidate, whether synchronous, hybrid, condensed, or completely online.  In order to stay within the new policy, the distance candidate must not take any on-campus classes during the semester unless they are part of a hybrid distance course such as our condensed courses.

Out-of-state students who study on campus will still be charged the out-of-state tuition rate for each of their enrolled courses, although graduate assistantships and fellowships may reduce these costs considerably. Indeed, we are pleased that this year, all of our on-campus students are receiving assistance.

We are proud to deliver the most extensive curriculum in agricultural and food law available, and it now comes at an even more affordable rate. We know that many recent law graduates and practicing attorneys balance family obligations, prior school loans, and other financial demands. We are very pleased to be able to deliver this good news.

The new tuition rate also applies to non-degree candidates who attend via distance, taking one or more of our courses for law school credit or CLE credit.

If you have questions about the LL.M. Program or its costs, visit our website and contact us at or call (479) 575-3706.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Calling all Alums from 2000-2010!

Our Throwback Thursday campaign continues. Check out some of the photos below and post or send in your pictures now!

Pictures can be sent to us at

Friday, July 28, 2017

Throwback Thursday!

Throwback Thursday!

This week we're featuring our alums from the early days of the program. Alumni from the 80's & 90's-this means you! Share your pics here or send them to us at or by mail: School of Law, LL.M. Program, 1045 W. Maple Fayetteville, AR 72701
Next week we'll jump ahead to the 2000's.

Special recognition to our Program Founders, Jake Looney, Don Pederson, and Neil Hamilton.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday, Recognize these faces?

Attention LL.M. Alumni - Throwback Thursday has begun!

We need your help.  We are looking for your photos, news stories, or other items of interest from your time in the LL.M. Program. We will post them on one or both of our social media sites -  the aglawllm blog and our Facebook page
Send your materials to us at, or mail copies to us at the address below.
University of Arkansas School of Law
LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law
1045 W. Maple St.
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Our alumni provide the best evidence of the success of our Program. We hope you will share your memories with us, and we're confident that everyone will enjoy the photos that we turn up. Lots of great stories to be told . . . 
In order to start the ball rolling, Sarah was "nice enough" to dig up a gem of a photo of Chris and me (both proud alumni) -  taken shortly before we joined the faculty.
Stay tuned and start looking through your photos!  


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

LLM Alum Monica Rainge: New Heirs Property and Mediation Center

We are proud to share this exciting news released by the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, where our alumna, Monica A. Rainge serves as Director of Land Retention and Advocacy.

Federation/LAF Signs MOU with USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Establishes Regional Heirs Property and Mediation Center 

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund (Federation/LAF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in support of its Regional Heirs Property and Mediation Center. This partnership will support FSC/LAF’s efforts to assist minority and other socially disadvantaged landowners who own heirs property and/or land related disputes across the southern region. The lack of clear title or heirs property is one of the greatest barriers to accessing USDA programs for historically underserved communities. The MOU provides a working framework for cooperation between OASCR and FSC/LAF to increase access to USDA programs by minority farmers and ranchers. The primary purpose of the MOU is recognize FSC/LAF’s Regional Heirs Property and Mediation Center as an outreach service center with a primary focus on its membership and minority and socially disadvantaged landowners across the southern region. Over the last 50 years, FSC/LAF’s mission has been to reverse the trend of African-American land loss and to encourage land based economic development. The Regional Heirs Property and Mediation Center will work cooperatively with OASCR to identify traditionally underserved landowners within the southern states and assist them in resolving heirs property, land retention, and estate planning issues through mediation, legal assistance, outreach and education. Currently, the FSC/LAF serves as the USDA’s Certified Agricultural Mediation Program in Georgia and Mississippi. Measurable indicators will be an increase in the number of minority and socially disadvantaged landowners who are knowledgeable about the OASCR and FSC/LAF programs and services and are accessing USDA programs which support and secure their land tenure. 

For more information about this project, contact information for Monica is available on the official press release.

Monica is based in Atlanta, Georgia, but represents the Federation with work across the South. I was pleased to see her last week and hear about this important work. Monica and I both serve on the Board of  Directors of Farmers Legal Action Group.

Susan Schneider

Donald Judges Named Vice Provost for Distance Education, Global Campus Head

As posted on the University of Arkansas Newswire, July 17th, 2017

Donald P. Judges has been named as vice provost for distance education and leader of the Global Campus, effective July 1. He served in these roles in an interim capacity since April 2016 and has played a key role on the Global Campus leadership team since May 2015. He also maintains his faculty status with the School of Law, his academic home since 1989.
“Don Judges has been doing an outstanding job as interim vice provost for Global Campus, and I am excited that he will continue his efforts in the permanent role,” said Jim Coleman, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“The role of online education is becoming an increasingly vital part of the University of Arkansas’ ability to reach and teach people all across our state and beyond,” Coleman said. “Additionally, under Don’s leadership, Global Campus is becoming an even more important innovator in adopting technology to improve course design and student learning for both online and in-person formats. I expect that Don will continue to do an excellent job ensuring that Global Campus makes significant contributions to several of the University of Arkansas’ guiding priorities.”

Over the past year, Global Campus performance metrics show a positive trajectory, including increases in online enrollments, development of new online courses and programs, non-credit workforce education offerings, support for U of A faculty, and revenues generated for the general fund and academic colleges.

“I am so proud to be part of a phenomenal team that continues to climb in all major areas,” Judges said. “And I’m excited about what we will achieve in the next year to support the campus in its efforts to keep pace with student expectations and needs.”

The Global Campus’ Fayetteville office expanded its range of services during the past year to begin reaching all instructional modes, including face-to-face. It supports the use of learning technology, instructional design and innovative teaching strategies that give faculty and students flexible, academically robust learning options.

The Global Campus’ office in Rogers provides non-credit workforce and continuing education programs developed through collaboration with U of A faculty, industry, organizations and government agencies. This work helps people further their careers and helps Arkansas fill skills gaps.
Judges first connected with the Global Campus in 2013, when the School of Law initiated an online track of its master of laws degree program in agricultural and food law. Judges continued to serve as an adviser to the Global Campus until he was appointed interim associate vice provost for distance education in 2015.

“I think that’s why I am such a big proponent for academic colleges to use Global Campus services,” Judges said. “I know how Global Campus helped me and my school when we needed it.”
Judges earned his juris doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1983 and his doctorate in psychology from the University of Tulsa in 1999. He held the E.J. Ball Professor of Law chair from 2005 to 2017 and the Ben J. Altheimer Professor of Legal Advocacy chair from 2000 to 2005.
About the Global Campus: The Global Campus supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online, distance and workforce education programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Request to our Alumni

Please remember to send us information about your accomplishments, including new positions, publications, litigation news, and other professional achievements. We are always proud to acknowledge your accomplishments.

Susan Schneider,
William H. Enfield Professor of Law
Director, LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Alumni News: Jennie Zwaggerman Publication

I was delighted to discover the following thought-provoking article written by our alumna, Jennie ZwaggermanAgriculture, Intellectual Property, and Feeding the World in the 21st Century is an essay is based on the remarks that Jennie provided for the Morning Keynote Address at the 2016 Texas A&M Law Review Fall Symposium.

Jennie serves as the Director of the Career Development Center and Associate Director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University Law School. She also teaches a variety of food and agricultural law classes at the law school and serves as the President-Elect of the American Agricultural Law Association.  The abstract and citation to the article are embedded below.

Agriculture, Intellectual Property, and Feeding the World in the 21st Century
4 Tex. A&M L. Rev. 315 (2017)
Food. Agriculture. Technology. There is no doubt that when it comes to these areas of law, regulation, policy, and practice, there is much that binds them, and yet they are also very divisive. A quick scan of almost any major and reputable news source will provide articles on a daily basis that pertain to not just one, but often all three of these topics. They are independent industries — science, agricultural production, and food manufacturing, but the truth is that in today’s world, they intersect more than ever. Consumer understanding of each of these industries is far from complete, and that can lead to many issues when it comes to the adoption of technology, agricultural production, and consumer food choices. When you incorporate government regulation, international relations, and infrastructure challenges, it becomes clear that technology alone will not feed the world. Feeding the world requires looking at issues beyond production and manufacturing, and into the challenges and issues that limit access to food and inputs. This article provides the author’s perspective on a more holistic overview of the issues involving agriculture and technology that can both impede and support attempts to successfully feed the world. We cannot simply rely on technology to reach our goal of feeding the world.
Congratulations, Jennie. We are always proud of your work.

Susan Schneider
William H. Enfield Professor of Law
Director, LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law

Friday, June 23, 2017

Alumni News: Blake Rollins named Director of the Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, USDA

Alumni Update: Blake Rollins names Director of the Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, USDA

Blake was recently appointed by USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to serve as Director of the Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs. In this new position, Blake is the Department's liaison to state and local officials, including Governors and State Agriculture Commissioners, and external stakeholders.

Prior to this position, Blake served as Legislative Assistant/Counsel to Senator John Boozman, advising the senator on agriculture and tax policies and as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

Congratulations Blake!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Alumni News: Secretary Perdue Names Anne Hazlett to Lead Rural Development at USDA

Secretary Perdue Names Anne Hazlett to Lead Rural Development at USDA

We are pleased to share news that LL.M. Alumna Anne Hazlett (2001) has been named Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at USDA. The press release announcing her position is included below. Congratulations Anne!

LL.M. Alumna Anne Hazlett
(Washington, DC, June 12, 2017) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has named Anne Hazlett, Chief Counsel to the Majority on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, to lead the Rural Development agencies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Hazlett, whose title will be Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, will oversee the Rural Utilities Service, the Rural Business Service, and the Rural Housing Service within USDA and report directly to the secretary.  The announcement is in keeping with a realignment of USDA announced by Perdue in May and represents an elevation of Rural Development, which had previously been in the portfolio of an undersecretary, who in turn reported to the deputy secretary of agriculture.
“With this addition to USDA Rural Development, rural America will have a seat at the main table and have walk-in privileges with the secretary on day one,” Perdue said.  “With her background of advising the Senate committee overseeing agricultural and rural development issues, Anne Hazlett comes with a depth of knowledge and experience perfectly suited to her role in helping to restore prosperity to rural America.  We are excited to have her aboard.”
“Small towns and the people who call them home have been my life’s passion,” Hazlett said.  “It is with great enthusiasm and a deep commitment to rural America that I am eager to get to work at USDA and be a partner in crafting solutions to the significant challenges these communities face from economic opportunity to infrastructure, quality housing, and addiction.”
An Indiana native, Hazlett has worked on agriculture and rural issues for over fifteen years.  Working in both the U.S. House and Senate, Hazlett has most recently served as Republican Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry where she was an advisor on many issues impacting rural America from Farm Bill programs to broadband and child nutrition.  In addition to her public service in Washington, Hazlett was the Director of Agriculture for her home state where she managed the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and was an advisor to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on agriculture and rural issues.  Further, she served as Chief of Staff to Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman where she assisted in the creation of the state’s first Office of Community and Rural Affairs, an agency devoted to providing financial and technical assistance to rural communities, and supervised management of the state’s housing finance, energy, and tourism agencies.  Outside of public service, Hazlett was in private law practice where she advised clients on agriculture and environmental regulatory matters.
Hazlett is a graduate of Kansas State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural communications.  In addition, she holds a law degree from Indiana University and a masters degree in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas.
The increased emphasis on Rural Development at USDA is in recognition of the economic difficulties facing rural communities, which have lagged behind other parts of the country in prosperity.  Fighting poverty wherever it exists is a challenge facing this country, as nearly 85 percent of America's persistently impoverished counties are in rural areas.  Rural childhood poverty rates are at their highest point since 1986, affecting one in four rural children, with deep poverty among children being more prevalent in rural areas (12.2 percent) than in urban areas (9.2 percent).
It is important to note that the systems, functions, and internal structure of the Rural Development agencies will not be changing.  Removing the additional bureaucratic layer of an undersecretary will allow Hazlett as Assistant to the Secretary to obtain “go” or “no go” decisions directly from Perdue without having to have ideas or suggestions passed through channels in the office.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Alumni News: Kael Bowling joins Friday Eldredge & Clark LLP

Alumni Update: Kaelin Bowling

Congratulations to LL.M. Candidate Kael Bowling who joins Friday, Eldredge, & Clark as an associate in the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Regulation Practice Group. Kael's experience and background are highlighted on the firms website.

Kael completed his LL.M coursework in May of 2017. As a Candidate in the program, Kael served as a Graduate Assistant, teaching courses in Legal Research & Writing as part of the JD curriculum. He was also selected to participate as a Walmart Food Safety & Health extern during the fall semester serving under Senior Manager of Food Labeling, Amy White, also an alumna of the program as noted in an earlier blog post.

Congratulations Kael!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Professor Kelley teaches at Sytkyvkar State University in Syktyvkar in Russia's Komi Republic

Professor Christopher Kelley taught a two-day negotiation skills course on May 29 and 30, 2017, at Sytkyvkar State University in Syktyvkar in Russia's Komi Republic.  His students were fourth- and fifth-year language students, variously studying English, German, and French.

Professor Kelley was hosted at Sytkyvkar State University by Professor Yury Dubro.  Professor Dubro was at the University of Arkansas in the fall 2016 semester on Fulbright faculty development grant.

Professor Kelley's negotiation skills course is designed to introduce its participants to basic negotiation principles, including pre-negotiation planning using the concepts of best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA), reservation point (RP), and zone of possible agreement (ZOPA).  During most of the course, however, the participants negotiate hypothetical negotiation exercises, thus giving the course a "learning by doing" quality. 
Professor Kelley has taught negotiations variously at universities, law firms, and NGOs in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, and Kazakhstan.  He also has taught Transnational Negotiation and Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lauren Manning Co-Founding New Chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition in Arkansas

LL.M. Alumna Lauren Manning is having a busy summer! In addition to writing, teaching, developing courses and continuing her work at Ozark Pasture Beef, Lauren reports that she is the process of co-founding a chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition in Arkansas. 

One of the first activities of the chapter will be a one day FSMA Produce Safety Rule training workshop on August 10 at the Pauline Whitaker livestock arena here in Fayetteville. It is only $20 and attendees will be FSMA certified by the end of the workshop. View the flyer and agenda below.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Join the LL.M. Class - Fall 2017

The LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law continues to accept applications for Fall 2017, with a few places remaining in our face-to-face and distance tracks, for full or part-time enrollment. With an expanded curriculum and a deep network of alumni mentors to help with job placement, our Program prepares attorneys for a career in agricultural and food law.

We have several Graduate Assistantships (GAs) to award to full time LL.M. candidates in our face-to-face program. These GAs provide for a full tuition waiver, health insurance (60% paid), and $5,000 stipend per semester in exchange for part-time work designed to build their professional reputation. GAs are still able to participate as full-time LL.M. candidates, with the degree anticipated in May 2018.

While awards may shift to accommodate the expertise of applicants, GA placements include:

  • An opportunity to advise and mentor the editorial boards for the three JD student-edited Journals, providing special counsel to the Journal of Food Law & Policy (law review or journal experience and an interest in scholarship required);
  • An opportunity to work with a small number Accelerated JD candidates who are attorneys licensed in foreign jurisdictions, assisting them with their transition to a U.S. law school setting
  • An opportunity to assist with a new pro bono initiative at the law school.

We are located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a progressive college-town frequently recognized as one of the best places to live in the U.S. Most of our LL.M. students are from out-of-state; our alumni are from 40 different states and 18 different countries.

Interested attorneys and graduating 3Ls should complete the LL.M. application and indicate their interest in one or more of the GA opportunities. Contact us for additional information at or call (479) 575-3706.

It is always the goal of the LL.M. Program to attract candidates that reflect the rich racial, cultural, ethnic, and geographic diversity of our global food system.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017 Commencement-Congratulations Candidates!

The University of Arkansas School of Law Commencement Ceremony on Saturday May 20th marked the end of the 2016-2017 year. We congratulate our candidates on a successful year and look forward to expanding our list of distinguished Alumni to include all of our candidates -whether they participated with us in Fayetteville, or by distance from across the country. Attending the commencement ceremony this year and pictured below were LL.M. Candidates Kelly Nuckolls, Jessica Fritts, Jacob Kerksieck, and Catherine Baker. Congratulations Candidates!
From left, LL.M. Candidates Kelly Nuckolls, Jessica Fritts, Jacob Kerksieck, and Catherine Baker

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Summer Enrollment-It's not too late!

It's not too late to join us for one or more of our summer courses. Attorneys, Graduate Students & Professionals in related fields are welcome! Our first offering begins May 30th and combines flexible online lessons with weekly discussions each Wednesday from 6-7:20pm CST. Contact us at for more information and to enroll.